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Key Capitol Hill Hearings

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U.s. 14, Us 14, Geneva 8, Syria 6, Dallas 5, Aca 4, Fisa 4, Iran 3, Washington 3, Massachusetts 3, America 3, Pakistan 3, Indiana 3, Pendulum 2, Gov 2, United States 2, Ilog 2, China 2, Murray 2, Europe 2,
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  CSPAN    Key Capitol Hill Hearings    Series/Special. Speeches from policy makers  
   and coverage from around the country. (Stereo)  

    November 4, 2013
    4:00 - 6:01pm EST  

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i can think of exit this just -- efficacy in aikens. this was sufficient to converse in because they could not undertake the responsibility without the information. seems like a similar procedural and without a direct. too think there are issues work out. it would depend on whatever you call this was -- this position. all of the issues become much more joint. i think there would be no be able that they would to appeal, for example, denial by the fisa court, or if you don't, they just have abstract proceedings.
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and then it would be the courts response ability and the courts ability to hold the government to account. to return toke former congresswoman harman and ms. pell. the challenge of the authorization that authorizes secret activity, it almost seems like a contradiction. how do you address laws that we don't want to talk about in public? democraticke a fully function and the government will fully comply, but how do you write about things that the government doesn't want to talk about? >> we can talk about the purpose of the program in the framework for the program. certainly, i recall very specifically in the debate on the fisa amendments in 2008,
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that is what we did. maybe members of congress for not paying much attention, but it was out there on the airwaves what the issues were. certainly, the telephone metadata had been disclosed by the "new york times" and then partially declassified by president bush in late 2005. there was conversation out there. congress can do that and that should happen. there could be public hearings as there are now public hearings about competing versions of the lawstial fixes for the that we have. yes, a portion of this is classified. exactly how it works is classified. why do we want to tip our playbook to the bad guys? that can be explained to the public, too. want show that americans conflicting things. one thomas they want there -- but they really are not conflicting things. one, they want their privacy protector.
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secured also want to be and they want laws to catch the bad guys that have plans to hurt us. the debate about purposes and framework is properly in the public domain. it should be made clear in the of how the watch works will be kept classified because we don't want to tip our hand. but again, if there is adequate safeguards and there is transparency in disclosing, as has been proposed, how many searches have been made, how many americans were involved, what were the outcomes in a bold way and not compromising privacy, then people should be comforted. and one last point. if we don't do this. if we blow up the collection program totally and we say we are going back to the law enforcement model and only after something happens are we going
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to go after folks, as in a something really bad happens -- and oh by the way, it could happen even with this program. the pendulum will be going the other direction. we will start collecting all kinds of stuff, possibly without the safeguards that we have else in properly now. any additional thoughts? >> one additional thought, and i will borrow from criminal investigative authorities. timentext, it took a long to be able to have a good conversation about how to amend the statute to deal with location data. part of that challenge was there were not a lot of opinions by courts at various levels discussing how government thought under what authorities its ability was to collect data. nevertheless, after many
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opinions, analysis came out. there are five the court opinions that are declassified or someone eyes -- summarized. we have conversation with fax and legal analysis to have a dialogue. members can talk without disclosing classified information. and stakeholders can bring concerns based on what they have seen. it will take a little while, but that is one way forward. >> earlier, you mentioned in 702 providers ability to challenge the program, but not the specific tasking orders. do you give that as a shortcoming of the statute? >> to be frank, because it has never been limit -- litigated, it can be argued both ways.
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i would have hoped that a provider would try to mitigate it from either direction. i do think any opportunity for more presentation of adversary argument in the fisa court, at least after the government has been able to obtain the authority is worth pursuing. and we did not hear anything contrary from the government this morning. whether you would put that on top of a provision for some kind of special advocate is an interesting question. you could potentially have a redundancy problem. but in the absence, i think it would be a relatively easy sell to congress to do that. i think a harder sell is to get recipients to actually use it. that is a question we are pursuing as well. >> we've got 8-10 more minutes. is, forrst question
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professor kerr, i wonder if you of 250he present status was originally not known to us as an operation for many years before it became publicized. now it is a deal. we know it is there. there are several proposed reforms on the hill. and the question is still there -- at least one of the bills says, stop the program, moved to delay the bill, move to a different way of doing it. -- if you're two presets that you named out earlier, namely sunset and the rule of lane in the -- and the -- rule ofity lace there.any
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>> there is no now. >> but is there a principle there that could apply e -- that could apply? and my substitution for sunsetted in 2015, i think. that provision will have to lead to a debate at some point over the next two years over whether this program is desirable or not and the government will have to make its case. we could wish that it is something that will happen in the next few months rather than two years from now because the debate, of course, is current now, and who knows what the picture will be then. but the sunset provision does lay a very important role over the next two years in figuring -- ultimately, congress answering this question of whether to approve the bulk collection program, and if not, then what are the alternatives? >> your original explanation for
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the rule was, if the court got something that appeared to be a novel interpretation, or appeared to be at the extreme edges from an interpretation, they should tell government to go to congress and get a application. does that have any application to the present situation? i would think that the answer would be that they would not it under section 215. ,ven without a rule of lenity just considering it a 50-50 question. already, we have been putting the difficult burden on those who are trying to amend in this for some kind of in place.nity
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>> as it comes up, do you think that is a point at which the rule of lenity might fly echoplex just to be clear -- might fly? >> just to be clear, that by default adopt a narrow interpretation of the statute rather than a broad interpretation of the statute. >> i thought you had suggested that when he came to fisk in the beginning -- and i'm just saying, does that have any application for reauthorization? , go toy would say congress to get a specific authorization. >> it could certainly enable the fisk to back off of an earlier interpretation if that is in place. quick question. a quick one to professor vladek.
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702 is kind of a competent a program. if you can speak for yourself or any of the ngo's you have had how would you characterize the main concern of outside groups about the way 702 operate? i think we all agree that they had congressional authorization to begin with, so it is not a 215. >> i would not speak for anyone other than myself. >> that is good enough. >> my biggest concern about section 702 is the volume of communications of u.s. persons that are, at least ostensibly available to be picked up. contemplate, based on my understanding of our technological capacities, the collection of data that on a scale that makes the incidental u.s. communications acquisition not just likely, but certain.
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theiggest concern is that unintentional environment is a bit this ingenuous. >> how would you correct that? >> there are a couple of possibilities. they all get to the same place. one is, not to allow the government to file for a directive if they have reason to believe that a certain percentage of the intercepted mutations will actually involve u.s. persons. one is to not just require those requirement, but what those requirements are. the threshold issue is that it is just too likely that communications are being accidentally picked up, or it incidentally picked up even when the government cannot go back -- go after them. they need to scale that back. professor, did i hear you correctly to say that you do not think section 702 bears the
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weight that has been put upon it in terms of authorizing the bulk collection program? did i catch that? referring to section 215. >> yes, section 215. that is your view? on the understanding of the current statute, i can say that when the news was disclosed that the bulk collection program had been authorized under section 215, i scratched my head on how on earth they had gotten their based on the statute as it was written, which is an understanding of the grand jury's subpoena power. and the understanding was that it was only power for subpoena for the grand jury documents. and i imagine a prosecutor trying to defend a grand jury subpoena for every piece of
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information in the united states and not getting very far, to put it gently, before a judge if there was a case of a motion to quash file. possiblehink it is based on the arguments put forward so far. >> you have written about issues of minimization in the context of government acquisition of in the tech context. about have thoughts contexttion in the fisa voting on content collection? particularly in the context of reports -- have been we alluded to them this morning, that the government collects stored data in transit. because it is being moved from
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server to server. how do we -- what are your thoughts about building a minimization structure that would be constitutionally sound side addressing stored content, either effectively in storage or cap stored while it is in motion? >> that is a difficult question because the meaning of minimization in a national security context is different than in a criminal setting. in a criminal setting, you are just making sure that them -- the information is never discussed by the government, never disclosed. and in the other context, it is just a matter of how long it will be in the database. we are more comfortable with the idea of being in a database
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somewhere, subject to when the database is going to be queried. it strikes me as such a different question that it is not clear to me that the same principles should apply. i would also point out that, for the opinion by the judge in some of these issues in section 702, his constitutional analysis struck me as one possible way to approach it, but there are many other ways to interpret the same issues. there are a lot of complicated issues raised by how broad the surveillance is, how broadly you take the foreign intelligence exception -- assuming that is an established exception. there are a lot of murky questions that would regulate that. it is much more complicated than in a similar criminal setting. >> go would you say that we are possibly bumping up against
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constitutional limits if there is such a different -- minimization in a criminal context is constitutionally premise. it flows from the scope of particular requirement. constitutionally based, could we be running up against without robust through minimization, in the foreign intelligence context, could we be running up against constitutional problems? >> yes, absolutely. there are many constitutional issues implicated here. there is obtaining content of people's communications, which is obviously going to raise fourth amendment questions. there is the reasonableness requirement and how that would apply in a national security setting. and there are not only the rights of u.s. persons communicating with other u.s. persons, which has been the primary focus in the statue so far, but there are also constitutional issues raised
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when a u.s. person is communicating with a non-us person. half of that medication is constitutionally protected, -- of that communication is constitutionally protected, but has not received that kind of attention at all. there are many issues at play. >> thank you very much to all of the witnesses. >> thanks to the witnesses on this panel and to all of the witnesses on the board that made this possible. you can see the comments related , a transcript will be posted at our website. i moved that the meeting be adjourned. all in favor say aye. it was unanimous. the meeting is adjourned at 4:20 p.m. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013]
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>> attorney general eric holder today said the u.s. is revealing national security agency surveillance procedures to strike the right balance between security and privacy. his comments came at a news conference this afternoon. quick question on surveillance issues. significanten coverage overseas about u.s. surveillance practices. 80% ofderstand it, about the work that the nsa does is actually outside the u.s. and basically, an government -- not governed by statute. at whether those guidelines provide any protection for foreign nationals or whether there is sufficient protection? that any assurances can be given from this government? >> as the president has indicated, and he is totally right, we are in the process of conducting a review of the surveillance activities.
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to make sure that we are striking an appropriate balance between keeping the american people safe and our allies safe, and also guarding the civil liberties and privacy of those same people, who are in conversations with our partners in europe and other partners around the world to make sure that we strike the appropriate balance. there are some fundamental questions we have to ask ourselves. simply because we can do certain things does not necessarily mean we should. that, i think, in some ways is the chief question that has to be resolved. what is the cost to benefit? what is the benefit we are receiving? what are the protections we are generating? against the privacy that we necessarily have to give up. that review is underway. review.thorough the president is fully engaged in that review, as are other members of the national security team and intelligence community.
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i would expect that in a relatively short timeframe, we will have announcements to make in that regard. >> let me just emphasize one thing. the concerns we have here are not only with the american citizens. i hope that people in europe will hear this, people or member of the -- members of the eu. our concerns go to their privacy considerations as well. a verylooking at this in holistic way. >> i'm surrounded by just a few of the items that were on the 10 best list every year she was first lady. she also -- often worked with molly harness. this was the apache war to the formal opening of the saint lawrence seaway where they met prince phillip. another dress is a printed cotton fabric with many of the houses that the eisenhower's lived in during their marriage. it also includes the five star symbol for the general.
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she was very fond of the color pink and wore it in many different shades and styles. known fornnedy is well- the little black dress. here are two examples of may's favorite little black dress. she always said she would never dress like an old lady. --se gowns, that she well she wore well into her 70's and 80's show bright colors and wild fabrics. >> tonight at 9:00 eastern on c- span and c-span three, also on c-span radio and at www.c- span.org. tenants that is incredibly important to the carriers that iraq presented as a confidential user service, and that is, the idea that all americans no matter where you live should have access to comparable and affordable telecommunications services. as we have gone through this evolution in the last several years, going to the telephone tovice to a broadband world
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an ip world, how do we make sure that were all americans have access to those same applications and the applications that come across those same networks? that has been a focus for us legislatively, and certainly with the fcc, talking to them about how important is to maintain attendance of universal service, what that means, and how that mechanism has allowed folks in world, high cost areas to have comparable services. >> making the jump from copper wire to fiber optics in wirral america. tonight on "the communicators" on c-span2 at 8 p.m. >> at today's white house briefing, secretary jay carney answered questions about healthcare.gov. also senate legislation to ban workplace discrimination against gay people. this is an hour and 10 minutes.
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>> do we have some fans here? there must be. but a call for the chicago blackhawks event. anyone who is going there should not feel badly at all if they get up and leave. i will understand. or we could just end it when it is time to go. it is up to you. a couple of toppers for you on this good monday. tomorrow, the president will host a meeting in the roosevelt room with top business leaders to discuss the importance of getting immigration reform done. immigration reform will reduce the deficit by nearly $850 billion over the first 20 years and it will grow the economy by $1.4 trillion over 20 years, which adds 5.4% to the gdp by 2033. it has broad bipartisan support from democrats and republicans,
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labor leaders, law enforcement, and faith leaders. the president is willing to work with the blonde both sides of the aisle to get things done. it is good for business. it is good for our economy as a whole am i and it is the right thing to do. we believe it is time for the house to follow the senate and take action. secondly, as you are already as early as this evening a-15,enate may vote on s which would place into law a comprehensive and lasting protections against employment discrimination based on sexual or gender identity. you may have seen the op-ed in the huffington post calling upon the president can sign it into law. we encourage lawmakers to act on
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this important legislation. because in america, who you are and who you love should never be a fireable offense. a qualified worker should not fear being fired from their jobs, or otherwise earn the chance -- denied the chance to earn a living for themselves simply because of their sexual identity. this is about upholding america's core values of fairness and equality. we look forward to that vote in the senate. >> house speaker john boehner said this morning that he opposes. now that it looks more realistic that the senate could pass this and house could not, does the president feel like signing an executive order order is something within his power, or something that can only be done by congress? supported andg inclusive legislative cap to dealing with employment dissemination of lgbt americans. i have noted, and others here
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have noted, speaker boehner's .omments with regret and the reasoning behind which he took is the reasoning behind almost all civil rights measures that have been passed into law in the last many years. that opposition was wrong then. it is wrong now. we will continue to fight for this legislation to move through. i fully understand that it may be taken are excepted as a fait because the speaker said it cannot move through the house, but i would point you to instances where that has not proven to be be case, as most recently as the reauthorization of the violence against women ,ct, which we saw happen fortunately, earlier this year. i think that the support for this is overwhelming.
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it is overwhelming across the country. and in states that you might not expect it to be very popular, it is very strongly supported. we need to continue the pressure -- to pressure congress to get this done. because it is the right thing to do. does he feel like congress will take this action or does he feel like executive power will bring about the progress? >> what we have said about this is two things, one, the preferable and better path would be through congress, because that would be inclusive. an executive order that addresses federal contractors, obviously would not be inclusive . it would not extend beyond federal contracts. we are focused on getting it through congress. when i used to answer questions about an executive order by
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saying that, there was great skepticism it would get this far. we have come to a moment where it looks quite likely, or quite possible that the senate will pass this. we will keep pressing ahead. awould note that there was poll earlier this year that 75% support,t at and 14% against. and that was in texas. >> what poll was that? >> we will have to get that for you. >> to lawmakers, including dianne feinstein, over the weekend said they want to see them take down of while it is being fixed. is that even an option? -- to take down healthcare.gov while it is being fixed. is that even an option? >> they are isolating and fixing the various problems with the website. i would refer you to cms and
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their regular briefings. part ofstanding is that the website has been taken down in order for this to be done. to take it down on a semipermanent basis until all of this is fixed, is that anything being discussed? >> my understanding, and i would point you to what jeff designs is thatrs have said, the site is fixable and there is an enormous amount of work going a daily basis, to make these fixes and to upgrade the site with the goal of making it fully functional for the -- the vast majority of users by the end of this month. that work continues. remember thatt to as that work continues to it continually needs improvement, which we have acknowledged, people can
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continue to get online, get the information they need and sign up and and roll. the problem is, not enough people have been able to do that. and too many throughout this launch have experienced frustrating delays or difficulty in making it happen. day one, far too few, and our opinion, because of the poorly functioning website, far too few since day one have been able to get information and enroll. that has improved as we have been addressing the problems that exist. in our view, we are able to do this so that the website is functioning for the vast majority of users by -- up to acceptable standards by the end of this month. >> can you tell us about the president event tonight? what does he hope to get from it ? >> you will hear the president talk about the importance of the affordable care act and the benefit it provides to every
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american, particularly millions eithericans who are uninsured or underinsured. there is a big effort underway to make sure that americans across this country get the information they need, understand what benefits are available to them, including tax credits that are available to .hem we will continue that effort, including with the new resident remarks tonight. >> this week, there will be talks on iran's nuclear program in you jeanie buss. -- in geneva. what you expect from these talks? >> i would say a couple of things. as the president has said, the
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history of mistrust between the united states and the islamic republic of iran is deep and it will not be erased overnight. is nott we are doing now about trust. we are engaged in serious and substantive negotiations, but offering the possibility that we can stop the advancement of these nuclear activities. resolve the international community's concerns about the nuclear program in iran. our goal is to achieve a verifiable agreement that does not allow iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. and we have said the window is open for us to pursue this option. goal of notur allowing iran to possess a nuclear weapon, and i'm going to aggressively pursue that while the window is open, but it will not remain open indefinitely.
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we are going into this with eyes wide open, but as we have discussed in the past, we need to take it vantage of this opportunity to see if, in fact, about addressing the international community's concerns when it comes to addressing its nuclear weapons program in a way that is verifiable for the united dates and the whole international community that is concerned about it. do you think there is anything from the fact that protesters continued to chant against america? >> we believe the vast majority of iranians would prefer a better relationship with the west and would prefer the benefits of that better relationship with the west, including the economic benefits of rejoining the international community, to the current status quo.
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i think that is what the elections told us. part, to this moment and this potential breakthrough. we will continue to focus on substantive negotiations to help bring about the policy goal that we seek. >> on saturday, [indiscernible] and then you talked about the economy. issueis this who -- huge with the sign up. what is the focus of the white house right now? >> as is the case with any white house, we obviously have a lot of issues that we are addressing at the same time. the principal organizing focus
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of this white house, as directed by the president, has always been the economy and job creation and middle-class security. byt is why even when necessity, some issues take more of our attention in public and take more of the president attention both in public and in private, and that includes , and prior toform that, serious and the debate over what to do about the use of chemical weapons by the assad regime. every day, the president and his team are pushing forward on economic issues to create a better bargain for the middle class, to find ways to work with congress to increase economic growth and job creation. that is why you will hear the president talk about matters economic in the coming days, because they are always the
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prior -- the first priority when it comes to domestic issues. you saw him last week host, or rather speak to, the select usa summit here, which was a remarkable event. brought so many participants, and it was oversubscribed. engaging foreign solicitation to high-quality jobs. noth is not to say we will continue to focus, as we obviously are, on these other issues. but the number one priority has and will be economic progress. it was the day when he went into office when the economy was collapsing here in the u.s. and around the world. and it is today. look at these issues, and i think this goes to that the president
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spoke about, and the way that washington often seems irrelevant to the concerns of the american people, and therefore can sound like the grown-ups on charlie brown. most americans, when the issues breakthrough, what they hear about washington is because of a political fight, an ideological fight, they shut down the economy and do harm to the economy, reduce job creation. that has to be enormously frustrating. and i think we have seen that one out in some of the public data. canught to be doing what we everyday to help the middle class. that is certainly the president's view. sure your member when the president went into the rose garden october 21. and he said that you could buy -- bypass the website and he even said when you get someone on the phone it takes about 25 minutes for an individual to apply, 45 minutes for a family.
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governmentsed by the therm committee show that cms was talking about how the same issues were affecting britain applications as phone applications. all of those applications have to go through the website, so we are all stuck in the same queue. know that theent very same problems would be facing consumers when they called on the phone and he said that he could apply and 25 minutes? >> the answer was yes, as was reported widely at the time. the whole point is that cms is processing paper applications through go. but it ipass is the need -- through healthcare.gov. but it bypasses the need to create an account, and that is what initially was creating the
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problems. , you are not able to do that by phone. troublessponse to the that users were having online, the unacceptable trouble that they were having, we bolt up the staffing of the call centers -- staffing of the call centers and made it possible for people to call and , and to bypass most importantly, the creation of an account. and we are working to fix healthcare.gov. but in terms of user experience, the point was to alleviate the frustration that so many were .aving online but to take that away and to have a live person at the: center to handle their questions and sign up and enroll them for them.
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a known fact at the time. we never pretended otherwise. know, because you have talked to people about .his give the point was to american people a way to avoid the frustrations that they were expecting online. to go back toant exactly what the president said. you said -- he said you could bypass the website and it could be done in 25 minutes. but these memos said that we are all stuck in the same queue because we all have to go back through the same order. >> i get it. but the person who called is not the same person that is waiting after the application has been filled. >> but the president said you could do it in 25 minutes. that is not true. give yourl up, you information, you get the questions answered that you need
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answered. and then they take over from there. and then you find out what you are eligible for and the practice goes forward. once your application is processed. of point was to relieve some the frustration that americans were understandably experiencing. if it is an individual, roughly this is on average, interaction that you have when you give your information and then you bypass creating an account online. and then you find out how much you qualify for and you could be enrolled that way. we have never said that the process would not still go healthcare.gov. >> actually, that is not true. look at your own words. you said, you can enroll over the phone, enroll in person.
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on october 23, you said there were four ways to enroll in the exchanges. >> and you don't have to go through healthcare.gov. >> there is only one way. as you just said, healthcare.gov. you can have this conversation mostly by yourself, but -- >> the president gave the impression -- not impression, told people that they could do this. >> and the paperwork is filled out for them and the process is taken over from there. they don't have to go online to do it is the point. that was the whole purpose of while we were fixing the website, making it meet the standards that we set, that americans could have an alternative way with beefed-up the colin centers
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to provide that relief for centerss -- the call-in to provide that relief for americans who were frustrated by the experience. you said we could bypass the website. you just said that we could. >> i think we have been through this. you give someone the information, they process it for you, you bypass and rolling in an account, which is where the problems were happening. eventually, that still has to go through healthcare.gov. >> way, the eventually part. >> john, i give up. >> october 24, she said that at the call center, a person on the other end of the phone could get 150tions in up to languages, as well as walk somebody all the way through the process and enroll at the end of the day. >> you give someone your
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information. when you call and sign up for something right now and someone takes your information and they it is youat, whatever are signing up for and enrolling in, they can do that once you are off the phone. you don't have to stay on the phone. that is the point. >> and they are all enrolled by the end of the day. is that right? >> i think everybody else here understands the -- what i'm saying. i'm sorry cannot say the same for you. >> given the enrollment issues, what about all of these folks who are using their and -- losing their insurance currently because they are getting cancellation letter from insurers? will they be able to obtain insurance in time to avoid the fines and penalties and so forth? >> yes. that is why we are working so hard on the website. that is why we have alternate
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means for you to bypass the creation of an account and enroll. it is important every time you that for your viewers, 80% of the population receives insurance coverage through their employer, or through medicare, medicaid, or the v.a. 20% arehe remaining uninsured. theyor the first time, have access to quality, affordable health insurance. the remaining five percent currently purchasing insurance on the individual market, a portion of that five percent -- so not even the five percent -- because they are not grandfathered in, because the policy that they currently have was not the policy that they had when the affordable care act was signed into law, are being told that they have to get new
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insurance policies to meet the minimum standards of the affordable care act. an abundance of options through these marketplaces, a greater abundance than almost all cases in existence today. and there'll be an opportunity for many of them, more than half of them, to get tax credits to reduce the cost of insurance. they will be getting better insurance than they currently have. because the current insurance does not include the necessary standards. >> clearly, and then -- and anticipated number of americans, perhaps millions, are experiencing these glitches, these technical problems, what have you, and are enrolling for these next several weeks. >> we believe the website, healthcare.gov, will function
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effectively for the vast majority of americans by the end of this month. onre are teams hard at work making that happen and they are making incremental progress toward that end everyday. and while the site is not by any means without challenges or glitches, it is better today than it was in early october. and it gets better virtually every day as these fixes are made. there is no question that it is work.ortant there's no question that these perform so poorly to start with, the american people are frustrated by it. we need to get them signed up and enrolled. which makes it all the more important for us to make the website function effectively, make sure that these other means are available to americans to get the information they need,
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so they can sign up and enroll. it is one of the reasons why it was important to have, or it is good to have a six-month enrollment time from -- timeframe. we know from last week when the president visited massachusetts, the closest existing program like this, a very similar program launched in massachusetts, you have a dynamic where enrollment was very slow initially. only 123 people in the first month in massachusetts. and then built up steadily over the course of time. 0.3%123 represented .20 -- of what would be the overall enrollment at the end of the day. >> what has called you to challenge that? >> the president has called on the house to take up the legislation and pass it. we are not laying down a challenge. we are obviously disappointed when any lawmaker announces that
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he or she does not support extraordinarily fair basic americans,for lgbt protection that other americans enjoy, and that they should enjoy. we will work with congress. we look forward to passage in the senate. we are heartened by the developments in the senate that brought us this far. believe the momentum behind equal rights is such that we will prevail as a country on this issue. >> very quickly, the book that -- oming out, double down pre-k's you did not get your copy? >> not yet. the president attended a super pack fundraiser last year on the premise of this book. did he do that? >> i don't remember that. we will have to take the question later.
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a bit ofhere was quite conversation about internal conversations at the white house about implementing the health care law. -- a memoa member of for the economic team in 2010 in which were raised several red flags. problemsfied several that he thought were beginning and should receive more white house attention than they were at the time. was there a lack of singular leadership focus within the white house with all of the implementation is choose -- issues with this law? does the president regret not having someone singularly focused on that? >> i think there were senior ofple focused on passage animal limitation of the affordable care act. there's no question about that. of theementation
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affordable care act. there's no question about that. if we thought it would come 1, the answer would be yes. that is why we have been frustrated by it as well. and that is why on the president orders there are teams working around the clock to improve that experience for millions of americans. when it comes to the overall suggestion of the article you mention, or the memo you don't forget that so much of the of formal care act was implemented in the last several years. including parents keeping their kids on their coverage. including banning pre-existing conditions. including banning limits on lifetime coverage. and setting up those transitional high risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions to get quality, affordable health insurance
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before the marketplaces made it the law of the land that they could not be denied coverage. a lot of implementation took place in the three years or more of the passage of the affordable care act in the opening of the marketplaces. but there was no question when it comes to the launching of the website that more should have itn done in order to ensure would function effectively. i think that was pretty obvious. >> from your answer, i take it that everything else is working just fine. everything else is as the president mentioned. all of the consumer reaction, what they are being told from the insurance companies, all of that is fine. the only problem is the website. >> obviously, this is a big piece of business and there are issues that have to be resolved. that has been the case since the law passed. the website is an important factor and one that is a problem
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, and one that we continue to address head-on and except responsibility for directly, because we know it needs to work. -- itunacceptable that a doesn't and hasn't. it needs to. note, too,esting to that even during this timeframe, the market places have been stood up. people have begun to get the information that they need. they have been able to window shop. in insufficient numbers because of the difficulty, they have been able to sign up, register, and enroll. the progress will continue and the pace will increase. you need to ask me more specifically [indiscernible] but it is the perfect place to lead on the aspects of
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the health care law. he was a friend and was advising and wanted to see it succeed. there could be the political clout here at the white house to oversee some of these other agencies that he said were underfunded or under manned. do you think that is a valid point then and, in retrospect, a more valid point now? >> i would say to the extent that it reflects what is our dissatisfaction with the functioning of the website, that is an interesting observation. whether specific measures like that would have made it function more effectively on time, it is hard for me to say, not being a management or website creation expert. but there is no question that nobody is satisfied, and that includes cms, hhs, as well as the white house.
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i think the broader point i made about the things that have .orked are implemented but there is more work to be done here. we are focused on getting that work done. the goal remains ensuring there are marketplaces up that areod working effectively so that millions of americans can get access to quality, affordable health insurance. >> and there was conversation this weekend as to whether or not the president and everyone echoing his remarks should use the particular phrase, "if you like your plan, you can keep it your code it was to -- you can keep it." it was too declarative. in the end, there would be shifts in the insurance market that everyone could project, and some might feel this was promising too much. i know you are capable. to the degree that you are
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willing to share with us what the basis was, and are there any regrets about using that phraseology and giving that kind peopleclad commitment to ? >> a couple of things. one, it was not a point of debate that i remember, or participated in. but secondly, the questions based on the reporting that suggest that policy people didn't want this, and political people did -- and i can just you to a white house --isor, the commando, emmanuel, who pointed out that if these were in existence at the time the law was passed, you could keep your plan. that is what the president said. "any plan that existed before the date that the law passed
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would be grandfathered in, unless a lot of changes were made." colleague dan pfeiffer said over the weekend, if the president did not intend to keep that promise, why did he make sure there was a provision in the law designed to keep the promise, which was the grandfathering clause? >> policies are going to change. the people here working at the white house are saying to the president, these policies are going to change. grandfathering will do no good. i can tell you what is the case. slice of the population we are talking about they get their policy coverage through the individual market in a with the upheavals
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market all the time, even more so than the rest of us. what happens when we are talking about the cancellation notices and the transition notices is that the people who have gotten those letters did not have -- the policy that they have today, even though it had insurance covers -- coverage three years anymore.t why? because they downgraded. or they have change significant element of the plan, probably while they jacked up the price is significant. i understand the communications issues here and this -- our focus has to be, when we talk about the flight five percent, is make sure they get the information they need to make choices about their
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insurance coverage from options that they never had before. that they find out whether they qualify for tax credits and what we will find at the end of the folks a majority of those will get better coverage at the same or less cost than they have today. that is important. that is delivering on one of the promises of the affordable care act. -- we have the website to deal with, a number of issues with implementation to deal with. our focus here is not on monday morning quarterbacking or who but what in what meeting, what we can do today to ensure that millions of americans are getting the benefits that the law promises, in addition to the millions of americans who already enjoy the benefits the
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law has delivered. let me move around. >> [indiscernible] >> are you there? >> [indiscernible] >> [indiscernible] burundi, egypt, morocco, i wondered if we can [indiscernible] have used counterterrorism legislation [indiscernible] will the administration of applied the same criticism to -- [indiscernible] over the not seen that weekend, so i will have to take the question. >> thanks for circling back.
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i wonder about that parent drove -- the apparent drone attack which the pakistani government has denounced. they have called for the stop of transfer of equipment. hadr the pakistani leader talks here, is there concern about the damage that might cause to this kind of relationship that was so much a focus of the talks? >> a couple of things. the president and the prime minister had a very good meeting, and they reflected the strong ongoing dialogue that we are having with pakistan regarding all aspects of our bilateral relationship. and as the president said at the time, despite the fact there inevitably will be tensions and misunderstandings between our countries, we continue to hope -- rather, we hope to continue
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to make progress in the relationship and seek ways for our countries to cooperate on the entire range of shared interests have, from the comic to security issues. -- from economic to security issues. the report you mentioned are not ones that i can confirm, but i can confirm that he was considered the commander of the ttp, the pakistan taliban, the group that claimed the responsibly for the failed in may, 2010, -- and they had publicly vowed to continue targeting the united states and americans. he was also wanted in connection with his involvement with the murder of seven and entry of six american citizens in 2009, at forward operating ways chapman in afghanistan. he had been indicted on conspiracy charges to murder u.s. citizens and to use a weapon of mass destruction against u.s. citizens abroad.
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tp been designated a foreign terrorist organization. they have conducted a number of attacks in pakistan. said, around all these issues we have a broad ilog with pakistan can -- ilog with withtan, -- dialouge pakistan. we continue had to have tensions in a relationship and we worked through them because we have so many important shared interests, and those are economic and security related. are trying to strengthen the relationship between our two countries. >> at a press conference in saudi arabia today, the prince said he and secretary of state kerry are committed to the geneva peace conference about ssad should sob -- a
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not be part of any transition. he has made it clear that he is not willing to talk to the armed opposition. the moderate opposition has said they are not willing to talk to the government at this point. the more the islamist militants are on the outskirts of damascus ,nd have taken over the lead the dominance from the moderate opposition. first part of the question, should the islamist militants because theyle, are the opposition that is dominant and they would have to play some kind of role in a assad sera, and what do you think that peace conference in geneva has any chance of happening? >> thank you for the question, and sera remains an important
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story. -- syria remains an important story. we remain committed to the target of geneva ii. we continue to consult closely with brahimi, the russians, to advanced momentum in its -- conduct that conference. brahimi will conduct a meeting in geneva, and the u.s. delegation will be led by wendy sherman and will include robert achmed. salman we are committed to bring a conclusive delegation to the table. we consult with the syrian leadership to ensure that it's
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ts geneva representation will be there. it is not only essential to moving forward toward a political transition, but the future of syria. ain committed because political reconciliation is the only way out of the bloodshed. dt is our belief that assa cannot be part of syria's future. he long ago relinquished that opportunity because of actions he took and the amount of his own people's blood he has spilled. it is true because the conflict has been going on for so long that there are different elements of the opposition. some of them moderate, some of them extremists. and while extremist elements may more fighting strength, we
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do not believe they represent or need to represent the future of syria. they certainly should not. we have worked closely with the syrian opposition coalition, and all moderates in syria, to try to assist them in unifying and representing the interests of the syrian people at geneva and elsewhere. we remade committed to the geneva ii conference. we believe it can happen in november. it is true the challenges you cite are real. and the fact of that is a reminder that we need to press on to need as a way to resolve this bloodshed in syria, because otherwise the alternative is so dire for the syrian people and for the region. >> the other thing you're facing is the president is indicating
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he wishes to run for reelection, and has no intention of stepping down. >> all i can tell you is the syrian people have no interest sad remain in charge of their country. he is not in charge of their country today, at least not in the whole. the idea that the syrian people in a free vote would choose and elect a man who has brutally irdered them with impunity think is not a serious thing at all. yes. >> on the website question, you said again and again it did not work out, we are all mad, etc., so on the question of why the president said if you like your plan, he can keep it, why don't you say it was not entirely right and move on, which is what you're trying to do with the website? >> the president addressed this
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in boston. he talked about this issue of cancellations, talked about the facts behind the grandfathering clause within the affordable care act, and about the reality that we need to make 5%e that that portion of the of the population affected by this because their insurance plans have changed their coverage, downgraded their coverage in the last two years, is providing all the information it needs and information they can get a gaff -- about potential subsidies said that they will have a formal, better quality health insurance coverage. youhen major was asking that there was a debate about whether the president was in 09, the words theaid president used that there was not 100% agreement among the
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staff on whether it was the right words to you, and he was pressed on whether it was the said move, and gibbs certainly it was. my question is, instead you seem to be saying it is the insurance industry's fault. you referenced this yesterday, a plansaid if you have before the aca has passed and it has not been changed or canceled, you can keep it. obviously, if it has been changed or canceled, you cannot keep it. the insurance companies are saying a are making these changes because they are being forced by the new law. shaking hereads because that represents a fundamental misunderstanding -- >> includes all these different things in the policies that were not included before. they are sinning out consolations -- they are sending out consolations --
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cancellations. >> if they had insurance before the law was passed, because we cannot transport ourselves into the future, because there are insurers canceled them plans and issue them new ones, almost invariably downgraded lands in the interim. the fact is there is a provision in the law for a reason that grandfathers those plans and the people attached to them, if they want to stay with them, from prior to the passage of law going forward. the insurance please change the plan in the interim by reducing coverage, and then it does not get grandfathered status anymore than a new plan introduced a year ago that was substandard and had caps or prevented you from getting benefits and hospitalization or anything like that would meet the minimum standards of coverage that the affordable care act provides. if you are saying that -- we are
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talking about this obviously because we need to do a better tob of getting the facts out s that universe of the population that is looking for answers. we are working to do that. because our goal is the fulfillment of the policy objective, the provision of quality health insurance to every american or provide access to at least every american, so, you know, again, the provision whate law i think reflects -- that was the purpose of the grandfathering clause area as dan said over the weekend, if he did not intend to keep his promise, he would not have a way to ensure that the grandfather clause was there. we have to get the info necessary that these people need because they deserve it and they
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need to know what their options are. they need to know that the majority of them will qualify for tax credits, that will reduce the price of their new coverage, and they need to know they are getting better coverage than they had in the past, and that they have more options. on thing that is happening is people are getting letters from their current insurance companies that say their plan will expire and then they are getting information about that company's offerings, sometimes directing them to sign up for that company's offerings, and a company may no longer be offering the best deal. out thereon who is who might get a letter like that needs to go get the information that is available to them to find out what their options are, because they are better than they have ever been in almost all cases. >> when the president spoke in the rose garden when he was in
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boston, told people they could circumvent the website by paper applications or by phone applications them as everybody who wants to and role have to go form?lthcare.gov in some >> i was saying to john, when the marketplace launched on august -- october 1, there were call in centers, and operators could not at that time -- they could enter your questions on a lot of issues around the aca, but they would still direct callers to the websites themselves to create an account and go to the process, because of the troubles with the beefed uphs and cms the staffing and made it possible for those who are operating the phones to take information from callers so they could bypass the need to create an account and get right to the registration and enrollment process. on the back end, those
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enrollment still have to go through healthcare.gov, but the individual does not do that. they do the work with the call- end,nter, and at the back that information is fed through healthcare.gov. >> would it be faster to call in, would i be expedited by this and be enabled to enroll in a way that i could not through he althcare.gov? >> there are a lot of people ovtting through healthcare.g successfully. what is the case is you may spend less time in the call in then you would online -- then you would online. online.you would
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the whole point again was the purpose of the feet up the staffing of the call in centers and making the point was to give bystrated -- those pressured the experience another way to get information, another way to sign up, and that is what it did. >> but it did not help you sign up. it only helps you get your information out there. a lot of information still has problems. on october 20, if it was fair to send them that way and the computer system was still broken come and it appears you said yes, you should go elsewhere, and they will get it done quicker, but it does not. >> what needs to happen in time for people to get insurance on january 1 is for those individuals to be successfully and rolled before the deadline. there is still time to do that. p theoint in setting u
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call in centers was to deal with the frustration of people dealing with the website. whether online or by phone or in person or by mail, you can 1,oll on october 1, november november 4, or december 4, you get your insurance on january 1. >> there is a sense among people -- >> [indiscernible] >> that is why we are trying to clarify with you. there are some believe system that the president has oversold with the comments you has recently made and is under delivering. [indiscernible] >> i will address the question. .gov was that healthcare through which the enrollment would happen, but the call in center was dealing with the frustrations that people were dealing with. in the meantime, we are busting rocks every day to fix the
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website so it is up and running at a standard that is acceptable for the majority of americans. >> why not follow up as democrats have said to shut down the website for a. of one month -- for a time of one month? >> because people are and rolling everyday. the endpoint has to be we accept it, that the whole system works, that people from point to point, anm their first creation of account to the and romans with an insurance plan works -- and the enrollment with the insurance plan works, and we have had points along the road with the website and there are teams working to make sure that they are fixed. through the various ways they can do that, through patches, rewriting code, all that work is
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happening. in the end -- and it is a lot work, and we believe it can get done. we need to make sure americans who seek quality health insurance on the marketplaces are getting information they need, and if they choose to, they can't if tax subsidies -- they can enroll and get the tax subsidies they qualify for. someone said i'm concerned the person that you have in place are not up to the task of health reform will be unsuccessful as oversold. if you look on that, given that the outside adviser said no one in the system would run a business, or had ever been in charge of a start up, and this would be a biggest startup in the world. was this a failure of leadership by the president ought to put someone in charge of this who had experience on something of this sort? >> 20 comes to the website, we
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completely acknowledge and accept slum stability for the fact it is not functioning properly. that is the significant challenge that we have faced since october 1. when it comes to the implementation of the aca, the team was able to do and is still implementing the law that allows parents to keep their children on a policy until 26, that it creates a way with those for pre-existing conditions -- >> [indiscernible] is the white house focus right now on finding someone who has that experience to be in charge on day one, january 1 going forward? >> i have no personal announcements to make. >> the white house has announced traveling in china and south korea. why the timing, and what issues will he be talking about? >> i would refer you to the vice
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president's office. he travels frequently on behalf of the present and the administration. he has a great deal of experience and a great many relationships around the world, including in asia. asia is the focal point of this administration's foreign policy. the pivot we have discussed frequently. withrip will be in keeping intense focus the president has brought to bear on our relationships in the region and on our presence in the region. this will be a continuation of the work the president has done. that the president looks forward to speaking with the vice president about the trip before he goes and getting a readout on his return. according to a news report, nsa has several [indiscernible] beijing and hong kong.
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will this be an issue between the vice president and his counterparts in china? comment on specific reported intelligence gathering activities. what i am confident of is when the vice president travels and has meetings with counterparts in foreign countries that every topic is on the table. he said get back to us on the answer to that, is the president rolling out fundraising for any and credit super pac for the coming cycle? >> i have not had a single conversation about 2014. you and get back to you to the extent we have answers on these questions. but i can assure you we will not be spending a lot of time on them in the near future. -- when there
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administration has made a a deal lately about the idea that half of the uninsured single young adults can get policies on the insurance exchanges for under $50 a month. these policies as it turns out have the vegetables of $5,000 or more once you -- have deductibles of $5,000 or more. how does that square with the promise of affordable health care, not affordable insurance, but affordable health care, and equality you have to be making funny $4000 a year or less to get that rate. mightry individual who enroll for insurance on the individual market has availed to them subsidies and choices. the basic level in insurance
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might have a higher deductible, i higher level of interest might have a lower deductible. the fact is this question is potentiallyp of insured individuals who tend to go without insurance because they are young and do not believe they needed it because they think they are invisible. when they do, they tend to purchase only catastrophic lands with low premiums and high deductibles, but do not get the basic coverage that will be provided before -- because of the aca, nor the subsidies. question -- and --re is good aid on this to that was is against the believe that most young people are not interested in purchasing insurance, and most of them say they are. a significant majority say they are, according to public surveys, provided they are
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affordable. a small portion of the population will have far greater choices in front of them, including different prices and coverage levels than they had before. >> i know you talk about health care. [indiscernible] a group has been pushing it with his and jenna -- his agenda on immigration and gun control. we have not seen a lot of action , in congress, and now with the problems with the website, does the president view this as a pet feelfor anybody who might for doubt or frustrated about this? >> the president believes the folks he will talk to tonight are committed to an agenda when it comes to health care is designed to provide affordable
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health insurance to millions of americans who have not had access to it in the past and provide the benefits that we are already seeing over the past when it every american comes to health insurance. so i do not think there is any doubt that this audience will be excited to hear that message and is very focused on the implementation of this policy. >> the people on the front lines are meeting in dallas, getting that message out -- we hear if results, theye will feel burned out or frustrated -- >> this is always hard work, but we will see results. aswill see better results time goes on. it is important to remember, because we focus on the post- legislative times after a law actually passed congress and is signed into law and was upheld by the supreme court that that
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achievement alone took 100 years of trying by presidents of both parties and congresses with leaders of both parties. it stands to reason the implementation was going to be challenging and made more challenging by the fact that we face so much political opposition even in the wake of winning the legislative battle and winning the judicial battle and winning the electoral at all, because the american people want quality and affordable health insurance. but there is still an effort to undermine underway. there are still promises to defund it or repeal it, and every time without a credible alternative. every time a lawmaker says that is his or her goal, they ought to be reminded where the story auto burg -- ought to remind leaders that the world they are envisioning is one where insurance companies can take away your coverage, the very illness that you suffer
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will not be covered by your plan or you will be denied coverage outright. there are always entrenched interests working against this, but we are where we are because americans felt it was the right thing to do, because health care was a right and not a privilege. >> will the president -- remarksl not preview more than i have. >> why is he going to dallas on wednesday? is it a way to showcase -- >> we should have put out more information about that trip. he is going to meet and thank local volunteers who are helping consumers learn about health insurance plans to the marketplace. dallas is one of the 10 cities with the highest rates of uninsured residents that participate in the federal marketplace.
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dallas has one of the most active groups in the community working on enrollment and outreach efforts. the president looks forward to meeting with these folks were playing such an important role in the outreach effort to make sure americans who are uninsured get the insurance available to them, and it was a piece in the paper this morning that talked about the number of americans who have been boxed out of getting insurance for some many years who will now, under this -- under the implementation of the aca, the health insurance coverage for the first time, and at low-them, it either cost or no-cost, because of their financial situation. this is important work. ist the president focuses on the end point of the effort, which is delivering the benefits to the americans who need them. >> is this his way of going to a
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place where they did -- they are not participating in the exchanges, and not expanding medicaid to those people who would qualify h?ost: it's true i do not know where they're the president will address those issues. it is certainly the case that, especially with the expansion of medicaid, that that is a decision that governors have made in some states that is depriving their constituents of health insurance that they would otherwise qualify for with in honestly helpful subsidies from the federal government. the have seen the number of republican governors who are conservatives who have acknowledged this is the right thing to do for the residents of their states. we appreciate the decisions they have made on behalf of their constituents and we will continue to work with
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statehouses and governors across the country on this issue because we believe it is important for the fulfillment of the goal here of the affordable care act. >> did he say how the president is getting his information, we briefed him on the texas of the program, and is a daily? how is occurring? who is briefing him? >> he gets briefed regularly. >> on healthcare.gov and the aca? >> yes. you started a -- to say since we have at these troubles that he is getting more updates than he otherwise would have. know howhave -- frequent it is or necessarily on the same pattern every week. >> is he getting more? >> you cannot prove it counterfactual. had website not experience the
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trouble it has-- >> [indiscernible] >> it came out pretty quickly. it is hard to quantify it. is beingr is, yes, he updated regularly, and he is very focused on a shoring affixes are made to the -- on assuring that fixes are made to the website, because there is an and goal that matters to real people and is not about who is up and who is down in washington is going to but who have the kind of security that comes from knowing you are covered across the country, and that security is vital for millions of americans who do not have it. >> will the president make any tribute or reference to president kennedy? >> i have no further previews of any of his remarks. >> [indiscernible] >> tonight at 7:55, a
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conversation on the 2008 financial crisis some of the top economic advisers from the and obamaush, administrations. here's a few minutes on that discussion focusing on the 2009 bush-obama transition. 2009,the beginning of there was a missed opportunity. the fiscal stimulus was needed. i just wonder if a different kind of stimulus, with some of the changes larry headed at, dropping the high-speed rail and energy, might have gotten bipartisan support. today people say republicans will oppose anything obama suggests, that back in the beginning of 2009, many people were really hoping that this guy was bringing us together, and it did not happen. there will be false on both sides, but that is the question, could a different set of choices
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brought the country together in a way that did not happen? >> i have been critical of some of the more classically the credit parts of the recovery program. but i was there. saidenate minority leader that the basic purpose of his minority leadership was to make sure that the president was not reelected. i think it is not easy to make the case that people in the it ministration were prepared to walk a long mile to get , so i thinksupport it would have been much more difficult, and the price of doing it would have been much stuff, not in the infrastructure direction, but in the tax cut direction that i think would have been fairly problematic. >> can i pick up on the last
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question? the fed policy and whether paying interest on reserves is -- >> please. i was there. the remaining people in the treasury who were helping people on that hill. republicans on the hill is that the administration did not walk the mile. every eight years of pent up spending, and it came up. it came out. inthe administration comes january 20, 2009, and they are already holding up many of our economic nominations come in. we have had the hearings -- yes, but i am saying, it was quite clear -- >> [indiscernible] that is completely counterfactual. -- i will give you a list [indiscernible]
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with senatoreld up reid -- i think it is completely counterfactual. >> you can see this entire discussion on the 2008 financial crisis tonight on c-span at 7:55 eastern. >> i'm surrounded a few of the items that kept mainly on the best dressed lists. she often worked with one of her favorite designers for her suits, and they were outfits. this is the outfit she wore to the formal opening of the saint lawrence seaway. another custom-designed dress is this, referred to as an eyes and and it includes a five- star symbol. these are a few examples of her day dresses. she was fond of pink and wore it
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in many shades and styles. jackie kennedy is well known for the little black dress him and here are two examples of mame ie's favorite little black dress. she always said she would never wear an old lady's dress. >> many eisenhower tonight at 9:00 eastern on c-span and c- 3, also on c-span radio and c-span.org. >> the senate took up legislation that would ban workforce discrimination against gay people. tomorrow we will talk with a policy and political director of the human rights campaign and the chairman of the latino immigration discuss legislation. also, a conversation on the role of third artie's in american --
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third parties in american politics. "washington journal" is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. right now, a conversation from this morning on budget negotiations in congress. host: while it's true the government shutdown is over the country is no longer flirting with an imminent potential default, anyone who believes the physical wars are over might be mistaken. they have been put on hold pending the outcome of a house and senate conference committee that convened last week. here to discuss that effort is william hoagland, the senior vice president at the bipartisan policy center. the headline of "usa today" talked about low expectations for a deal coming out of this conference committee. do you agree with that? guest: i think the assumption
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that we were going to reach some grand bargain, a large deficit package over the next 10 years, i think it's clear the expectations for that happened lowered dramatically. host: why? guest: the differences between the house and senate are dramatic. it is like we are on different planets even though we are in the same universe. the difference on the house position in terms of the resolution they passed back in the spring which had no tax increases, no revenue increases, assumed to the repeal of the affordable care act. it is the antithesis to the senate position. the senate budget resolution they passed. they had increased revenues and differences are so great it is unlikely there will be any kind of agreement to raise revenues because it could not pass in the house of representatives. host: does that doom this effort to failure?
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guest: no, if people had expectations that this would be a large deficit reduction package achieved by the hope for a deadline of december 13, i think that is off the table. i do think there is a real possibility, not of a grand bargain, but of a bargain that will be granted that we got a bargain at all. the american public believes that congress is dysfunctional and cannot achieve anything. at a minimum, it seems there is a good possibility that both mrs. murray and mr. ryan can come together on some sort of package that will show that the house and senate can work together in a minimal way. it will not be a grand bargain, but the fact that we have not been able to achieve a budget resolution for the last four years, this would be something at least to be respected that the congress could, even a divided congress, could come to an agreement on a budget. host: we are talking about the
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budget conference that just began meeting last week with william hoagland of the bipartisan policy center. he is here to answer your questions, and our phone lines are open. you can also send us e-mails and tweets or post in our facebook page. the phone lines are on the screen. mr. hoagland, you said the december 13 deadline is for the committee to present its final report? guest: yes, the house passed a budget resolution under regular order back in the spring. the senate passed a budget resolution, a blueprint, for how congress should spend their tax the money going forward. the house bill, the senate bill go to conference or are supposed to go to conference but we have not gone to conference for the last four years of this is an achievement in and of itself.
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that came about with the crisis back in early october. the house and senate will go to conference, and hopefully they can resolve their differences and come up with a conference agreement, and that conference agreement goes back to the house and hopefully passes the house then passes the senate, and it stops. this is one thing people may not understand. it is a blueprint for guiding the legislative process. it is a blueprint that guides the committees, so the first up is to put together a blueprint to guide the committees on how to proceed. host: the timing gets tight after december 13. december 16, congress begins its holiday recess, and january 15 is when the current continuing resolution expires. is it possible to move something that quickly? guest: it's very possible should you achieve a blueprint, a conference agreement on a budget
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resolution for fiscal year 2014, and you have that adopted as a blueprint, and i think that will set the level of spending as it relates to what the level of spending would be as opposed to a continuing resolution or dropping back down to the sequester level on january 15. it is possible to have a blueprint. if you have an agreement between the house and the senate, i think that lowers the rhetoric a lot and we can move forward. we will pass legislation to fund the government and move forward. host: what is the next debt ceiling deadline? guest: the aggregation of all our debt from the beginning to today is february 7. we have suspended our debt ceiling until february 7. it is not like the beginning of a new fiscal year where
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everything comes to an end. we will allow the treasury to continue to have cash flow to have them move beyond. we believe the bipartisan policy center -- we think it is not february 7 that we will be back in the soup with not having enough cash. it will probably be the end of february, early march. we will face the statutory debt limit and a cash flow problem. host: for folks who don't know the bipartisan policy center, what is it? guest: it was established in 2007 by four former leaders of the united states senate, senator dole, senator baker, senator mitchell, and senator daschle. it is a nonprofit and basically an organization that tries to drive toward principled solutions and reasonable negotiation to bring together various partisan individuals. it is a bipartisan organization.
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we take on major issues as it relates to housing, fiscal issues, immigration recently, health issues -- a number of issues we bring together. a lot of former members of congress -- we try to find some common, reasoned approach to come together that divide the country. host: bill hoagland worked as a former republican staff director for the senate budget committee from 1986 to 2003. he is here to answer your questions on this subject of the budget conference. we will go to lee from eugene, oregon, on our line for democrats. caller: thank you very much. i have always appreciated the work of the bipartisan policy center. but i must say that in this
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tragic time right now, moderates in both parties are not being heard. choices, things that we are suggesting to the leaders -- i know this specifically because i contacted patty murray's office four different times this year. i have yet to get a response at all from anything. i have sent suggestions. i have made offers of how -- people on disability like myself could gain more respect publicly by taking a little less of the gift that the american people give to us, and at the same time realize that the social security disability part of social security was created before we had millionaire athletes and millionaires ceo's of insurance companies.
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we have to balance both sides of the coin. while disabled people give up some of the money, we also have to be able to tax to a higher salary cap, maybe up to $2 million rather than the $250,000 that gets taxed right now. guest: first of all, thank you very much for the call. you are unique in the fact that you are willing to put forward a reduction in the government disability payments he received. i congratulate you on that. i cannot speak for chairman murray's staff and why she has not responded to your suggestions. that is not my responsibility. i will say thank you for complimenting the bipartisan policy center. it is difficult in this town to find bipartisanship. it has been my experience in this town -- i have been here for longer than i should be --
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it seems the pendulum swings and i think there is a real possibility that we will see a movement back toward more moderation in terms of policies as we go forward. i will also say that one real issue you raised which i think people have to remember is the social security disability trust fund itself expires in terms of its funding by the end of 2015, 2016. the issue of social security disability funding will be an issue and we will focus on that and congress will have to focus on that in the upcoming next session of congress. host: senator murray is the head of the senate budget committee, the lead negotiator for democrats in this conference committee. her counterpart -- guest: chairman paul ryan. these are budget committees. i sometimes get upset with the
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media and the press saying that this is unique that we are having a special committee. this is the way the process is supposed to work. the house passes a budget, the senate passes a budget, and we conference, and that's what is going on now. host: is the makeup of this committee unique? it is 22 senators, seven house members. does that make up give house members more say? guest: no. the bottom line is that if they were to reach an agreement, then they have to get a majority of signatures. it does not matter what the numbers are. the majority is in the house. republicans control the house. at the end of the day, the majority of those members have to sign the conference agreement for it to become action. that is december 13. host: friday, the 13th.
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dallas, texas, is on the republican line. caller: good morning. would that budget that the senate put together be the first one they have put together in four years? guest: it is the first conference agreement on a budget resolution. i have it right in front of me. since april of 2009. caller: have they passed the budget? guest: when there has not been an agreement on a blueprint going forward, and when we have reached that particular state, what happens is that we operate on a continuing resolution. we do not have a halfway of how we are to control the long-term deficits. we do operate, but we operate without any thing that an
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individual or family would have. and that is budget or a blueprint. caller: that is not what i am asking. i do not think they put a budget forward. guest: they did pass a budget, they just did not go to conference with it. host: we're going to indiana on our independent line. go ahead. caller: yes, i have a few comments. the working people -- you work overtime and everything else, and at a certain point, you have to make choices about paying the utility bills, eating, everything else. to do this, you have to cut back as far as you can cut back or go
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out and find another job. the government needs to work in this direction to cut where we can. also, let's look at more revenue coming in. our working people of this country are squeezed to death. also, looking at this, pulling the cap off of the taxation of the top rate of earnings for social security. can you estimate on revenue this would do? i will just listen to your comments. guest: thank you for being a
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hoosier and for being from indiana. i am originally from indiana. i do not have the information on taking up the cap on taxation. it does affect the benefits in the future, too. it is not just a revenue increase. increase in taxation also increases the benefits that are provided for the future. having said that, i agree with you fully. in the end, the federal government, just like businesses and families and universities, we have to control our spending. we have to balance it with the revenues. the difficulty here has been finding that balance. that is the reason why we are talking in the house and senate about finding that balance between additional revenues, if there are any additional revenues, and additional ways of raising revenues.
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host: are there some areas of agreement? guest: there has been some suggestion that there might be ways in which receipts, not revenues, such things as fees, as an example. an example would be increasing the fees to public places like national parks. i do not think these will raise that much revenue in the long run. it comes back to the spending side and the control of spending that is critical here. we will have to focus on this. the difficulty is areas where we have controlled spending and have limited spending. those are areas of the future. those are investments in infrastructure, education, science, and technology.
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when you add in the interest of the public debt, two thirds of the budget is medicare, medicaid, and social security. that is where the money is and that is where we going to make progress in the future. host: we will go to carl in chicago, illinois on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. you are just saying something about a balance between spending and revenue. i think you have it wrong. this is where the problem is. in 2000, we had a balanced budget. republicans chose to take all of the surplus and have tax cuts. they say that we could have a war. they said it would not cost us a dime. it cost us $1 trillion. then we also had the recession.
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americans lost 30% of their net worth. we lost gdp. this probably comes to maybe about a couple trillion dollars. this is not about the entitlements. not that there cannot be reforms. our fiscal problem is because we did not raise the taxes to pay for these things. it is not because we were spending too much. you cannot buy a yacht and take six months off of work. those were not the problems. the problem is that the republicans spent money and do not want to acknowledge it. host: thank you. guest: thank you for your question and i think you have a very valid point here.
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let me talk for a second. this is my background. in the spring of 2001, when george bush ii came into office, there was a projection of the surplus. you are right. it was a projection of $6 trillion. this was not just by the incoming administration, it was projecting this, as well as the federal reserve system also projected this. what happened was, in the spring of 2001, congress -- in a bipartisan way, said we should return some of that. it is hard to believe, but surpluses can be as damaging as deficits. they decided to return some of that surplus to the american public. they returned it in the form of a tax cut. that was a 10-year tax cut.
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what we did not anticipate, of course, was what happened on september 11, 2001. we went from surpluses to deficits almost overnight. he tax cuts remained in effect. i think you're right, there should have been some revisiting of those tax cuts that were in effect, but the tax cuts allowed us to avoid a major recession back in 2001. host: you bring up deficits. how much motivation is there right now to get a grand deal done whether it's in this effort or future effort with u.s. just having posted its lowest deficits in 2008, is it? guest: we ended up the fiscal year that just ended, fiscal $6802013 with a deficit of billion. li